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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Apr;1823(4):876-88. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2012.01.016. Epub 2012 Jan 28.

Role of BI-1 (TEGT)-mediated ERK1/2 activation in mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and splenomegaly in BI-1 transgenic mice.

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Department of Animal Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea.


Bax Inhibitor-1 (BI-1) is an evolutionally conserved apoptotic suppressor and belongs to the BI-1 family of proteins, which contain BI-1-like transmembrane domains. As their cellular functions and regulatory mechanisms remain incompletely understood, we compared their anti-apoptotic properties. Forced expression of BI-1 resulted in the most effective suppression of stress-induced apoptosis, compared with other family members, together with significant extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 activation. BI-1-mediated ERK1/2 activation led to the suppression of mitochondria-mediated reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Involvement of the ERK signaling pathway in BI-1-induced anti-apoptotic effects was confirmed by knockdown studies with ERK- or BI-1-specific siRNA. Moreover, we produced transgenic (TG) mice overexpressing BI-1, and the relationship between ERK1/2 activation and the suppression of ROS production or apoptosis was confirmed in mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) cells derived from these mice. Interestingly, we found that BI-1 TG mice showed splenomegaly and abnormal megakaryopoiesis. Taken together, our results suggest that BI-1-induced ERK1/2 activation plays an important role in the modulation of intracellular ROS generation and apoptotic cell death and may also affect autoimmune response.

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